A quick note on this, seems congruent with my caffeine levels. Bardia has been getting a bad rep lately mainly due to misinformed media and social media, not unusual I know. Yes, sure, the human fatality rate since about the start of 2019 in the Bardia/Banke/Katarniaghat is very concerning, I’m talking about the number of people killed by tiger. I’m going into further detail on this later in the year but the critical point is nearly all these deaths could have been avoided and a lot of work is going in to increase prevention. Human error seems like a light term to use when someone is killed by a tiger, a traumatic event for everyone connected to it but behaviour change by our species is the key to serious conflict mitigation.
Disturbance has serious ramifications but it’s not rocket science to understand the solutions. In the image is a sign at a checkpoint where motorbikes must now convoy through an area where there was a fatal attack. I’ve been through there several times now since the attack, and yes, there is a distinct feeling one must be wary but the strategy works and in the main I feel authorities have done a good job in this situation. Several different big cats have been involved in attacks in different parts of the region but tigers and leopards are not at fault, it is us who must adapt. The more we adapt, the risk reduces markedly. Living with big cats will always have its challenges, it has to be accepted that incidents are inevitable.
Visitors to Bardia are safe. The incidents that are occurring are entirely connected to livelihood and lifestyle at local levels. Disturbance as a dynamic still needs a lot of work, the recent issues with noise and rubbish are part of that, let’s not pretend that respect for wildlife is uniform here, far from it but effort is going in. Visitors can come here and enjoy Bardia in safety, hopefully they are learning what a critical landscape this place is.
I leave Bardia soon, I’ll talk about that in ‘The Boss’ blog shortly, this place has a big part in my heart as does the new mountain area base I’m going to as part of a continuing focus on #AntiSnare. I’ve given several years to try and understand the problems here better, that learning helps in project support and implementation which will continue in this land of the tiger.